NPR Acknowledges Pentagon Propaganda Controversy

One of the over 75 pundits revealed by the New York Times as being part of the Pentagon military analyst program was Robert H. Scales Jr. In 2003, Scales founded a defense consulting firm, Colgen, which lists both National Public Radio (NPR) and and Fox News as clients. NPR's Ombudsman, Alicia C. Shepard, wrote on her blog that since February 2003 Scales "has been on NPR 67 times, most often (28 appearances) on All Things Considered (ATC). The latest was March 28, when he gave ATC listeners an assessment of the fifth anniversary of the war. ... Only once in December 2006 was Scales' relationship to Colgen mentioned." While 40 NPR listeners protested against any further use of Scales, Shepard disagreed. "Rather than toss Scales off the air and lose his practical and scholarly knowledge of the Army, in the future NPR should always be transparent and identify him as a defense consultant with Colgen," she wrote. NPR also developed new guidelines for "vetting guests" which state, "Ask the guest if he/she has any conflicts of interest." Meanwhile, Editor & Publisher notes "the news chiefs and on-air hosts at CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC, and CBS, have had little reaction," apparently hoping it all blows over.